Before the 2012 MLB season began nobody thought the New York Mets would be nearing the trade deadline involved in MLB rumors as buyers. However, that is exactly what they are right now and Mets GM Sandy Alderson has to try and find some pieces that will help propel his team into the playoffs.
The Mets bullpen has been atrocious this season. It currently has the worst ERA among bullpens in Major League Baseball at 4.96. The Mets bullpen squandered two leads against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night in the ninth and tenth innings, allowing the Nationals to win on a walk-off wild pitch by Pedro Beato. It is no question the Mets need bullpen help and apparently they are looking around for it.
The Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals figure to have a few bullpen arms available. The Astros have Brett Myers and Brandon Lyon and the Royals have Jonathan Broxton. Broxton is signed to a one-year deal worth $4 million so he should be very affordable for the Mets for the rest of the season. Broxton has 22 saves this season in 26 chances, has a 2.14 ERA and 1.37 WHIP across 33 2/3 innings. He has experience setting up or closing and his 2009 season with the Los Angeles Dodgers was his best when he struck out 114 batters in 76 innings, saved 36 games, and compiled a 0.96 WHIP and 2.61 ERA. He isn’t the same strikeout pitcher as he once was before his missing significant time with an elbow injury but he is still a capable pitcher out of the bullpen and would upgrade the Mets bullpen significantly.
Right now the Mets closer is Frank Francisco who is currently on the DL. Adding an arm like Broxton’s could push Francisco back to a set-up role where he would be better, in my opinion. However, if the Mets don’t want to bring in Broxton and are happy with Francisco as closer they can look at Brandon Lyon.
There is no question the Mets have to do something. They need to find bullpen help. To contrast, the New York Yankees found Cory Wade on the waiver wire last season and Clay Rapada and Cody Eppley this season. All three have played a major role in the Yankees bullpen over the last calendar year. Perhaps the Mets are waiting to see what becomes available that route since bullpen arms are notoriously volatile. Whatever the Mets do they need bullpen reinforcements and soon. They cannot afford to squander leads, especially to division rivals, at this point in the season. If the Mets are targeting Broxton, which they apparently are, he would upgrade the pen significantly and might help the Mets make the playoffs.